The Varsity Panther volleyball team traveled to the Blue Springs South tournament on Saturday, Sept. 24. The Panthers faced extremely tough competition. St. James Academy, the Kansas 4A 3-time defending state champions, was the first opponent for Ray-Pec. Although the Panthers lost, the girls gave a great effort. Scores were 17-25, 16-25. Cheyanne Lyons had 6 kills and 2 solo blocks, while Brooke Renshaw contributed 7 digs.
Up next were the Tigers from Ozark, Mo., who are currently ranked number two in the state, and were undefeated leading up to the match with the Panthers. The Panthers led the entire match from start to finish and stunned the 2010 state third-place finishers 25-23, 25-22. Cheyanne Lyons had a tremendous match, tallying 14 kills in the win. The final team in pool play was Cor Jesu out of St. Louis, a private school known for its rich volleyball tradition. Its last trip to state was 2007-2008, when they took second. The Panthers came out strong the first set, winning 25-18, then dropped the second set 21-25. During the third set, Ray-Pec was unstoppable, defeating Cor Jesu, 25-14. Defense was huge for the Panthers--Angela Brown had 14 digs, while both Brooke Renshaw and Cheyanne Lyons had 13 digs. Cheyanne also had 16 kills, and Molly Goulding contributed nine kills as well as two solo blocks.
The Panthers came out to the Championship bracket, where they faced 2010 third-place Kansas 6A finishers St. Thomas Aquinas. Although the Panthers fought hard, they lost to the Saints 23-25, 17-25. Cheyanne Lyons had 11 kills and Brooke Renshaw contributed 8 digs. That leaves the current record for the Varsity Lady Panthers at 6-10 on the season.